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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Happy Hatters can complete hat-trick of EFL Cup upsets

Derby can double the League Cup dose on Grimsby

Isaac Vassell celebrates scoring for Luton against Blackpool in May
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Luton v Ipswich

Luton have dumped out Championship opposition at Kenilworth Road in the opening round of the League Cup for the past two seasons and the happy Hatters can complete a hat-trick of upsets by beating Ipswich.

Luton silenced Bristol City (3-1) in 2015 before stunning Aston Villa (3-1) last term and they have every chance of springing a surprise on the Tractor Boys, who were knocked out by Sky Bet League Two Stevenage at this stage last year.

Nathan Jones’s troops are fancied by many to gain a well-awaited promotion from the fourth tier of English football and their emphatic 8-2 win over Yeovil in their curtain-raiser on Saturday suggests a fruitful campaign is in the offing.  

Ipswich got their season off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win over Birmingham but their victory was marred by the injury to highly-touted teenager Andre Dozzell.

Mick McCarthy has one of the smaller squads in the Championship and it’ll be no surprise to see him ring the changes in a bid to protect his key players. The Ipswich boss made seven changes from their opening league game last season for their defeat at Stevenage three days later.

Luton are on a high following their scintillating display against the Glovers and they are worth supporting against an Ipswich side who have won just five of their last 26 competitive away matches.

2pts 19-10 bet365, Hills, 188Bet

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Grimsby v Derby

Derby’s class prevailed when these sides clashed in the first round of the League Cup 12 months ago and Gary Rowett’s Rams can double the dose on Grimsby with victory at Blundell Park.

Derby deployed a strong side when defeating the Mariners 1-0 at Pride Park last season and they should be happy enough with the point they earned at Sunderland on Friday given they lost the shot count 20-11.

However, Rowett’s squad has significant strength in depth - Dave Nugent and Matej Vydra are just two who can’t find a spot in their starting 11 - and whatever side he fields should be good enough to get the job done.

The Rams have had an extra day to prepare than their hosts, who won 3-1 at Chesterfield in their Sky Bet League Two opener, and they should show they are a level above.

2pts 5-6 bet365

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Barnsley v Morecambe 

Barnsley were a shambles defensively in their 3-1 loss at Bristol City on Saturday and it could pay for punters to bank on goals when free-scoring Morecambe come calling in their League Cup first-round encounter.

The Tykes have seen a big turnaround in staff over the summer and manager Paul Heckingbottom admitted after their defeat at City that even with 11 new players they are still short of where they want to be.

That must be a slight concern for favourite-backers given their recent record in this competition. Barnsley were beaten 2-1 by Sky Bet League One Northampton in the first round last term and required penalties to see off Scunthorpe following a 1-1 draw in their opener in 2015.

Jim Bentley's troops were a joy to watch in the League Cup last season. The Shrimps knocked out Rotherham in a shootout after drawing 3-3 in normal time before going down 2-1 to Premier League Bournemouth.

The Shrimps started their league campaign with a 2-1 win over Cheltenham on Saturday and with Barnsley still to find their strongest side, both teams to score looks a smart wager.

Both teams to score
1pt 4-5 bet365

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The Shrimps knocked out Rotherham in a shootout after drawing 3-3 in normal time before going down 2-1 to Premier League Bournemouth
E.W. Terms
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